The continued expansion of the tourism industry in Victoria, and particularly in Melbourne, is creating a raft of new jobs, especially in the state capital.
With around 75% of the state's population based there, tourism careers in Melbourne are driving the jobs market.
Recent figures showed there were approximately 74,900 tourism businesses in Victoria. This represented a healthy 13% of the total 570,100 state businesses. Because of its many attractions it is no surprise that two-thirds of those tourism based businesses were located in Melbourne.
Research confirms that tourism careers in Melbourne are predominantly to be found in small businesses, employing up to 20 people. Only 4% of tourism workers worked in medium sized companies with 20-199 employees, the medium-sized companies, while less than 1% worked in large companies with over 200 employees.
The distribution of tourism jobs across Victorian industries, cafés, restaurants and takeaway food services (24%) accounted for the largest share of direct tourism employment, followed by retail trade (22%) and accommodation (22%).
With unemployment in Melbourne stable at around the six% mark, the city is a magnet for workers from across the state where pockets of unemployment remain much higher. The tourism sector is still the biggest driver in reducing those figures.
Official figures show that tourism directly generated approximately 134,100 jobs in Victoria or 4% of total employment in the state over 12 months. In total, tourism generated 208,300 jobs or 7% of employment in Victoria, growing from 6.3% share of employment over 10 years.
Tourism job growth outstrips other combined sectors by almost 50%, the regional government says.
One key driver in this is that the tourism industry remains labour intensive compared with other sectors where technology reduces job prospects.
The impact on the economy of tourism, particularly in Melbourne, is felt across all sectors. The spread of the tourist dollar is not immediately apparent, but figures for the whole economy are startling. Official figures suggest that tourism indirectly contributes around AU$12billon, and over AU$23billion in total, representing over 6% of the Victorian economy, a steady 20% rise over a 10 year period.
Over that period the tourism industry has grown by an average annual rate of more than 5%, outstripping the annual growth of the state economy during the same period, proving that tourism is one of the main driving forces of the state economy and, in particular, aiding growth in Melbourne.
Australian Bureau of Statistics confirmed that international visitors to Victoria spent AU$7.6billion in the year ending September 2017, a staggering increase of over 13% in 12 months, Melbourne accounting for much of that and outstripping other major Australian cities.
Melbourne saw 2 million international overnight visitors as well as hosting 57.7 million domestic overnight stays, bolstered by being voted the world's friendliest city by Traveller magazine.
All the above confirms careers in tourism in Melbourne look set to continue to grow.